Eye Care and Diabetes

Diabetes is well known for its impact on blood sugar levels; however, it can also impact the eyes. High levels of blood sugar can damage the eyes and, in some circumstances, even cause blindness.

The Effect of Diabetes on the Eyes
Little do people know, diabetes can significantly impact the eyes. According to national statistics, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness for people younger than the age of 74. [1] When living with diabetes, you are more prone to serious eye problems. It is crucial to have your eyes checked yearly. In the short term, high blood sugar will have little impact on your eyes. However, as time goes on, if your sugar levels are continuously high, it can damage the tiny blood vessels in the back of your eyes.[2] Over time, this can lead to scarring, and if unchecked, damage to the eye itself. To prevent this, yearly checks are advised to ensure your eyes are healthy.
How to Maintain Healthy Eyes
When living with or caring for someone with diabetes, it is always essential to have their eyes checked. You can do this by booking a dilated eye exam at least once a year. During this exam, your doctor (or optician) will place drops into your pupils to dilate them. They will then take a look at your pupils to ensure they are healthy, and no damage has been done to them. Once the session is complete, make sure you share the results with your primary doctor so they can take a second look. Additionally, you should also look out for any symptoms of damage to your eyes. Be aware of symptoms such as, if your eyesight suddenly changes overnight and sight becomes blurry. Furthermore, if you see any black or red spots that stay for long periods. If you experience any such symptoms, you must contact your doctor as soon as possible so they can make any required checks.
Common Eye Diseases
There are a few eye disorders that are common among people living with diabetes. These disorders are often caused by diabetes itself and have many impacts on the eyes.
Cataracts and Glaucoma
A cataract is when your vision suddenly appears cloudy, which can make it difficult to see. Whereas glaucoma is when fluid builds up in the eye. Both are often caused by high blood sugar levels.[3]
Unlike many other disorders, retinopathy has no visible symptoms when it starts. This often makes it challenging to test for. As a result, you (or the person you care for) must have their eyes checked regularly. This is caused by small blood vessels in the retina. They begin to weaken and, in some circumstances, even leak blood. If left untreated, this can cause blindness in the long term.

[1] DIABETES AND YOU: Healthy Eyes Matter!
[2] https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/diabetic-eye-disease
[3] https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications/retinopathy

Photo Credit: by v2osk on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Eye Care and Diabetes

  1. Those are yours alright! . We at least need to get these people stealing images to start blogging! They probably just did a image search and grabbed them. They look good though!

    1. Hi Leeann,

      I’m not sure I understand your comment about “people stealing images…doing an image search and grabbed them”. All the images that we use on this site have been purchased or we take them websites that provide them free. I’m obsessed about identifying sources and giving credit to authorship or creative works, so at the end of each article, we state the photo credit especially if it was a free download. If you have identified an image that was not credited, we will be more than happy to remedy the problem.

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